“I am not only down at the beach”

by Allison Hall

Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

God’s creation is awe inspiring. There is nothing nicer than being outside, enjoying God’s creation, the blue sky, the breeze, the green grass and the trees, nature on show and surrounding, giving testimony to God’s awesome creation.

I love the beach, preferably on a wet and windy day with the waves crashing down  the wind blowing, the seagulls calling to each other.

From the age of 5 until I was ten, I lived in a place in the UK where the sound of the ocean could be heard loud and clear from my house. It was the first sound I heard when I awoke in the morning, if the windows were open and when leaving our house, it was a beautiful sound to me.

There is no doubt that I feel closer to God when I am “down on the beach.” I have been blessed with many times at the beach where I have felt close to God.

Living close to the ocean was a wonderful blessing that I have missed at times in my life when I was living elsewhere. I find myself wanting to get down to the beach at times when I am under stress and needing a sure knowledge of God’s presence, leading or guiding. Whether the seas are rough or calm, the sound sooths and comforts me.

I remember once imagining a choir of angels singing the song “All the earth will declare That Your love is everywhere, the fields will exalt Seas resound,” as it says in the song, “All the Earth” by Parachute band. Maybe it was not my imagination, maybe they were actually singing and I was singing along with the angels as I walked alone on the beach..

For weeks before this moment, I had been working in my role as administrator at a medium size Church. We had a senior pastor and an associate pastor, I had been working there for a couple of years and the senior pastor enquired as to how I was.

I remember my answer, loud and clear, I said to him.

“I feel like if one more person comes to me with a problem they want to share with me, I will be responding with. “Here’s 50cents, phone someone who will care.”

Not the answer the pastor was looking for, poor man.

I was at the end of myself. I had major problems but none of them were “work” related. My problems were all personal family problems, involving my elderly parents, my husband’s major health issues and one of my children who had a major calamity in their life.

After talking to my senior, we arranged for me to have a couple of weeks off and I booked a week away staying at a beach not far away where there was a cabin right on the sea front.

My husband settled me in with my books, yummy food and comfortable clothes for me. I was planning a time of personal retreat and I was so excited about being down at the ocean, where I felt close to God.

Walking down to the beach, minutes after booking in, I was in such a hurry to “get down to the beach” where I could get close to God…. when I heard that “inner voice” that I recognised, which said. “You do know that I am not only down at the beach!!” Wow, that was not what I was expecting to hear but the message was loud and clear. God knew that I needed to get close to Him, but my thinking was wrong, I did not have to make such an effort to get down to the beach, God was everywhere I was and had been.

It was a very convicting moment but He definitely blessed me over the next seven days with times where I had a sure knowledge of His presence peace and comfort and I am sure He turned up the sound of the ocean for me too.

“All the earth will declare that You Love is everywhere.”

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